Every February for the last 88 years this month we pay tribute to generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

That history was the focus of a special slide show and lecture at the Lehigh County Historical Society. The program focused on the legacy and inspiration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Frederick Douglass.

"I found it very enlightening and important because so many of those issues are with us today," shared Deborah Palmer. "And we still need to keep working."

Black history is American history. The exhibit featured local articles and newspaper clippings as well as a rare first edition book signed by Dr. King.

"It's important that we honor, recognize and remember the history of all cultures," said Kevin Easterling. "Especially those that have not been delivered in text books and historic classrooms."

The room was packed with folks interested in learning. The presentation gave a view of the civil rights movement and how it related to the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments.

"History is such an important part of us as a society to know where you've been," explained Easterling. "As the saying says, 'if you don't know where you've been you don't know where you're going.'"

It's taking the past and using it to move forward.

"It helps me to look in so many different places where we're still needing to work for kind and equal relationships in the world," shared Palmer.